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Top 10 Care Provider Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 14 min read

Certifications are important for care providers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for when hiring. Certifications can also provide care providers with an advantage over other applicants by showing potential employers that they have a solid understanding of the skills and techniques needed to provide quality patient care. Additionally, certifications can demonstrate to employers that the care provider is committed to their profession and has kept up with advances in medical technology and practices. Finally, certifications can help to increase salary potential for care providers since employers may be willing to pay more for someone who has obtained certifications related to their field.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain the value of some of the top certifications for Care Providers in order to help them further their career.

What are Care Provider Certifications?

Care provider certification is a formal recognition of the qualifications, knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective care. Care provider certification helps protect the public by ensuring that those providing care meet a set of minimum standards. It also provides assurance to employers, clients, patients and families that the person they are entrusting with their care is competent and qualified. Certification can help increase confidence in the care provided, as well as improve patient safety by ensuring that providers have met the criteria for safe practice. In addition, certification can lead to improved job satisfaction among providers due to a greater sense of professional recognition and accomplishment. Finally, it may help with recruitment and retention of qualified staff by demonstrating commitment to quality care.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the requirements for care provider certification in your state or region before beginning the process. Different states have different requirements, so it’s important to know what you need to do in order to become certified.

Related: What does a Care Provider do?

Top 10 Care Provider Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Care Providers today.

1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic patient care under the direction of a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. CNAs typically perform duties such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and transferring patients. They also take vital signs, collect specimens, and provide emotional support to patients and their families.

In order to become a CNA, you must complete an approved training program that is usually offered by community colleges or vocational schools. These programs typically last between 4-12 weeks and cost anywhere from $400-$1800 depending on the school and location. Upon completion of the program, students must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam in order to be certified as a CNA. The cost of this exam varies by state but generally ranges from $50-$100.

2. Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is a professional designation for individuals who provide home health care services to individuals in their own homes. CHHAs are trained and certified to provide personal care, medical treatments, and home management services to those who need assistance with activities of daily living. The certification process typically takes 8-12 weeks, depending on the program you choose. To become a CHHA, you must first complete an approved training program and pass the certification exam. Training programs can be found at local community colleges or online. The cost of the training program varies but typically ranges from $400-$700. After completing the training program and passing the certification exam, you must also complete a criminal background check and submit proof of immunization records before becoming certified as a CHHA.

3. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

A Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is a professional healthcare provider who assists physicians and other medical staff in providing patient care. CMAs are responsible for performing administrative and clinical tasks, such as taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, collecting lab specimens, and helping to administer medications. They also provide support services such as scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, and billing insurance companies.

It typically takes between one to two years to become a CMA. To become certified, individuals must complete an accredited medical assistant program and pass the certification exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). The AAMA offers several levels of certification: Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

The cost of becoming a CMA varies depending on the program chosen. Many programs offer financial aid options or scholarships that can help offset some of the costs associated with obtaining certification. In addition to tuition fees, students may also be required to pay for textbooks, study materials, and exam fees.

Once certified, CMAs must keep their credentials current by completing continuing education courses every five years in order to maintain their certification status.

4. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is a certification program offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in medical coding and billing. The CPC certification is one of the most sought-after credentials in the healthcare industry and it can open up numerous opportunities for career advancement.

To obtain the CPC credential, candidates must pass an exam that covers medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, coding guidelines, reimbursement methodologies, and other related topics. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the exam, candidates must have at least two years of professional coding experience or complete an approved coding training program. Additionally, they must submit an application form with a fee of $399 USD ($499 USD for international candidates).

Once a candidate has passed the exam and met all eligibility requirements, they will receive their CPC certificate from AAPC. This certificate is valid for three years before it needs to be renewed. Renewal requires continuing education credits (CEUs) which can be obtained through various sources such as conferences, webinars, online courses, etc.

5. Certified Nursing Assistant-Advanced (CNAA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant-Advanced (CNAA) is a professional designation given to individuals who have completed additional training and certification beyond the basic requirements of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The CNAA credential indicates that an individual has acquired advanced skills and knowledge in providing quality patient care.

To become a CNAA, an individual must first complete the CNA program and obtain state certification. After completing the CNA program, individuals can then pursue the CNAA credential by taking additional classes or courses in areas such as medical terminology, pharmacology, nutrition, infection control, and communication. Most programs require at least 75 hours of classroom instruction and clinical experience in order to be eligible for the CNAA exam.

The cost of obtaining the CNAA credential varies depending on the institution offering the coursework. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 - $1,000 for all necessary coursework and exams. Once all coursework is completed and passed with satisfactory grades, individuals must then apply to take the CNAA exam through their state board of nursing. Upon successful completion of this exam, individuals will receive their official CNAA certification.

6. Certified Geriatric Care Manager (CGMC)

A Certified Geriatric Care Manager (CGMC) is a professional who specializes in helping seniors, their families, and caregivers manage the challenges of aging. CGMCs are trained to assess the needs of older adults, develop a plan of care, coordinate services, and provide support for those involved in the caregiving process. They also help families understand how to best access available resources and navigate the complexities of long-term care.

In order to become a CGMC, individuals must have at least two years of experience working with older adults or their families in a health and human services setting. Additionally, they must complete an approved geriatric care management certification program and pass an examination administered by the National Certification Council for Gerontology & Geriatric Care Management (NCCG). The certification program typically takes six months to one year to complete.

The cost of becoming certified as a CGMC varies depending on the course provider; however, it usually ranges from $2,000-$5,000.

7. Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT)

A Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) is a healthcare professional who provides direct patient care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home health agencies. CPCTs are responsible for assisting patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and toileting; taking vital signs; collecting specimens; providing basic wound care; and performing other patient-related duties.

The certification process typically takes between six to eight weeks to complete. To become certified as a CPCT, individuals must first complete an accredited program in patient care technology or related field. Upon completion of the program, they must then pass the National Healthcareer Association's (NHA) Certified Patient Care Technician exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, patient safety and infection control, medical law and ethics, pharmacology basics, clinical skills and procedures, and communication skills.

The cost of the CPCT certification exam varies depending on the testing center where you take it. Generally speaking, the cost is around $100-$200 USD per attempt. Additionally, some employers may require additional training or certifications beyond the NHA's CPCT exam before hiring an individual as a patient care technician.

8. Certified Medication Aide (CMA)

Certified Medication Aide (CMA) is a healthcare professional who has been trained to administer medications to patients. This includes administering oral, topical, and injectable medications as prescribed by a physician. They are also responsible for monitoring the patient's response to the medication and reporting any changes in the patient's condition.

To become a Certified Medication Aide, you must complete an approved training program that is typically offered through a community college or technical school. The program usually takes around 4-6 weeks to complete and includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. After completing the program, you must pass an exam administered by your state’s board of nursing in order to receive certification.

The cost of becoming a Certified Medication Aide varies depending on the institution offering the training program. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$2000 for tuition, books, and other fees associated with the course.

9. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to perform administrative duties in a medical office setting. CMAA certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

To obtain the CMAA certification, individuals must pass an exam administered by NHA. The exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as medical terminology, coding, insurance processing, scheduling, patient registration, and other administrative tasks. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and costs $115.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also have at least one year of experience in a medical office setting or completion of a formal medical office training program within the past five years.

Overall, obtaining the CMAA certification requires passing an exam and meeting certain educational requirements. It typically takes several weeks to prepare for the exam and complete all prerequisites for eligibility.

10. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) is a professional who works under the direction of an occupational therapist to provide services that help people with physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities participate in activities of daily living. COTAs help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

To become a COTA, individuals must first complete an accredited associate’s degree program in Occupational Therapy Assistant. This typically takes two years to complete and includes courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, psychology, kinesiology, therapeutic interventions, and patient care. After completing the educational requirements, individuals must then pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam before they can become certified.

The cost of becoming a COTA varies depending on the school attended and any additional certifications or continuing education courses taken. Generally speaking, tuition for an associate’s degree program ranges from $7000-$20,000 depending on the school. Additionally, the NBCOT exam costs $450 to take.

Do You Really Need a Care Provider Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. In some cases, a care provider certificate may be necessary. For example, if you are working in a role that requires the use of specialized knowledge or skills, such as a nurse or therapist, then you will likely need to obtain a care provider certificate in order to demonstrate your qualifications and prove that you are competent to provide the services required.

In other cases, however, a care provider certificate may not be necessary. If you are providing general care for an elderly person or child without any specialized knowledge or skills, then it is unlikely that you would need one. The same is true if you are providing basic support services such as grocery shopping or transportation.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not a care provider certificate is necessary for your particular situation. If there is any doubt about what type of certification might be required in your case, it is best to consult with an expert in the field who can provide guidance and advice regarding your specific needs and requirements.

Related: Care Provider Resume Examples

FAQs About Care Provider Certifications

1. What is a Care Provider Certification?

A Care Provider Certification is a credential that recognizes an individual's expertise in providing care to individuals with special needs, including those with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. The certification typically requires the completion of a training program, as well as passing an exam and meeting other requirements.

2. How do I become certified?

In order to become certified, you must complete a training program that covers topics related to providing care for individuals with special needs. You must also pass an exam and meet all other requirements set by the certifying organization.

3. How long does it take to get certified?

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the certifying organization and the type of program you are completing. Generally, certification can be obtained within several months up to one year or more.

4. Is there an age requirement for certification?

Most certifying organizations require applicants to be at least 18 years old in order to obtain certification. This requirement may vary depending on the organization offering the certification.

5. Are there continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

Yes, most certifying organizations require that their certified professionals maintain their credentials through continued learning and professional development activities such as attending conferences or workshops, taking classes or webinars, or reading relevant literature and research articles related to their field of practice.

Editorial staff

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Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

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